Einblick In Den Qualenfall
posted on 2/2008 By:
A very surprising offering, this album is. One may hasten to judge this outfit by their washed-out cover, mysterious record label, and German vernacular; but any assumptions based on preconcieved skepticism should be discarded. Combining ice-swallowing doom and somber goth-rock with a hypnotic black metal swarm, Verdunkeln have birthed a profound wellspring of chilled-out grimness.
While many proponents of the black/doom metal embrace tend to assault the senses with oppressive unease (labelmates Sol being a handy example), Verdunkeln's blend of two sorrows is more resonant and personal, thrusting deep into the core. Their message is facilitated by a warm, muck-emerging rhythm guitar that forms a blanket of darkness; haunting synths and lightly-picked arpeggios pepper it with ominous starlight. This ultra-heavy skyscape gleams of the slightly new wave-ish texturing that spooked World Coming Down, and the slinking, subterranean bass work (which resonates deeply) harkens memories of The Cure's early works, as well as the more recent endeavors of Fields of the Nephilim.
Surprising influences such as these make for an extremely accessible platter, despite both the German vocals (which lend an odd cadence to "Der Quell"), and the sheer length/droning nature of the album's six tracks. Though somewhat sparse, the vocals shape-shift from a sorrow-laden blackrasp, a heavily-reverbed half-shout, and, as featured in the capitivating closer "Auf Freiem Felde", an ethereal chant. Tastefully woven throughout the album's warm hypno-flow, they accentuate an experience that is neither abrasive nor horrifying; rather, it is emotive and introspective. Floating in a murky black pool between shores of Void of Silence and Shining, Einblick In Den Qualenfall is a minor treasure worth diving for, especially for those that crave a black metal record stacked with some seriously unique low-end play.
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